Deputies: Woman Sold Mom’s Pain Pills With Child In Car

October 14th, 2010 by Staff

SUMTER COUNTY, Fla. — A 25-year-old Lady Lake mother was arrested for allegedly selling prescription pills with her 6-year-old daughter in the back seat of her vehicle. Sumter County Sheriff’s Office investigators said Melissa O’Berry was selling the drugs near The Villages retirement community on Monday.
“It’s just scary. We don’t need that around here. We can do without drugs, that’s for sure,” The Villages resident Arlene Smith said.
“It’s odd for the Villages, but for the surrounding area it might not be. We live in a bubble here, so to speak,” resident Rick Reilly said.
Investigators said O’Berry was selling her mother’s prescription medication, obtained by doctors in Tampa, by the hundreds.
During an undercover narcotic investigation, an informant told officers that oxycondone could be purchased from O’Berry. In a recorded phone call, she said she would sell the informant 150 oxycondone pills. According to a report, O’Berry asked the informant to wire money to a location in Tampa to pay for the pills.
O’Berry then drove to a Publix shopping center where the informant got in her car and was told he/she would receive the pills. Through audio and video surveillance attached to the informant, detectives heard and saw the transaction and then approached the vehicle.
O’Berry was arrested; her 6-year-old daughter was in the back seat of the car during the drug sale. Officers also found bottles of methadone and oxycondone in her purse. The labels read her mother’s name. Investigators said they found a total of 439 pills.
“It could have been dangerous for the child and traumatic watching her mother get arrested. Yes, we feel she did put her child in danger,” said Lt. Bobby Caruthers of the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office.
The Department of Children and Families arrived on scene and turned the child over to Children’s Home Society for emergency residential sheltering.
O’Berry is charged with trafficking, sale and possession of oxycondone, possession of methadone, and child abuse. She’s in the Sumter County jail on $85,000 bond.
O’Berry’s mother lives in Bushnell in Sumter County. The prescriptions were written by two Tampa doctors. Investigators won’t say whether O’Berry’s mother is involved or who the Tampa doctors are and whether they’re involved.
WFTV called O’Berry’s mother, who said she had no comment.

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